Lieb Cellars' Russell Hearn is another of Long Island's longstanding winemakers. The Aussie has managed to keep a little Down Under twang despite making wine on the North Fork since the early 1990s. Hearn was actually working in Virginia when he made his first trip to Long Island, part of a symposium of winemakers exploring what the nascent industry here was up to.
With a strong contingent of Bordeaux-based winemakers in attendance, including the late Paul Pontallier, the group was visiting a vineyard that was supposedly Chardonnay. A French ampelographer in the group asserted, as Hearn tells it, "That ain't Chardonnay," insisting (correctly) that it was actually Pinot Blanc.